Actor Brian Cox reveals the rich and controversial past of sugar, alcohol, tobacco and opium to uncover how the commercial exploitation of these products hooked the world.
The first film in this series looks at how sugar cane fuelled a consumer revolution but is now responsible for serious ailments.
Sugar has crept into all areas of our daily diet, from the sweet treats we award ourselves to family essentials such as pre-packaged loaves of bread.
We know that too much sugar is not good for us, but we are hooked, and sugar is now so ubiquitous it is hard to believe there was a time when it was not readily available.
We learn the origins and history of modern-day opium addiction. Opium is a highly addictive narcotic acquired from the opium poppy seed pod. Heroin is derived from the morphine alkaloid found in opium and is roughly 2-3 times more potent.
The third film in the series reveals how smoking helped kick-start the British Empire and created a market of addicts.
In the final film of Addicted to Pleasure, Cox reveals how whisky has shaped Scotland’s hard-drinking reputation.